LONDON • John Terry has been told that this will be his last season as a player with Chelsea as the club begins the process of finding another role for him at Stamford Bridge.
During informal and cordial talks, the captain also reassured Chelsea's board that he does not want to leave in next month's transfer window - despite lucrative offers from China - and that he is planning to end the season at the club where he has spent his entire career.
Speculation over his future overshadowed much of the second half of last season at Chelsea as his contract entered its final months before he finally signed a one-year extension.
The club wants to avoid a recurrence, particularly with Antonio Conte's side challenging strongly for the Premier League title.
The 36-year-old Terry went public with his frustration at not being offered a new deal last January before the club changed its mind and, at the end of the season, offered him a further 12 months on reduced terms.
Chelsea's determination to avoid another contract stand-off has resulted in senior executives informing the centre-back that he will not get another deal as a player, a message that has been reinforced by Conte.
The Blues want Terry to stay at the club, however, and are planning to discuss whether a combination of coaching and ambassadorial duties could persuade him to retire at the end of the season.
Alternatively, he could be asked to return at a later date.
Terry has already ruled out playing for another Premier League or European club because of his desire to avoid facing Chelsea, but does not want to be rushed into a decision on retirement, particularly as he will receive offers from overseas.
The former England captain has made it clear that he will not leave next month and is prepared to reject a £12 million (S$21.75 million), one-year deal from Shanghai Shenhua, who are managed by his former Chelsea team-mate Gustavo Poyet.
THE TIMES, LONDON